Saturday, May 30, 2009

week 7

Digital Automata
Question 1
Write a pararaph describing the Turing test and another paragraph describing an argument against the Turing test known as the Chinese Room?
The Turing test was contrived by Alan Turing as a test of a machines capability to demonstrate intelligence. It was based on a party game known as the “Imitation Game”, where a male and female are separated from the other guests who try to tell them apart through a series of typewritten questions and answers. The male and female try to convince the guests that they are the other person. In the Turing test a human judge engages in a text-only conversation with a machine and a human each of which aims to appear human. All participants are in separate locations. If the judge is unable to tell the two participants apart the machine is considered to have passed the test and demonstrated intelligence. Since it was conceived in the 1950’s the Turing test has become a key concept in artificial intelligence philosophy.

The Chinese Room argument, proposed by John Searle in 1980, challenges the Turing test by endeavoring to demonstrate that a machine such as a computer does not think, and can therefore never be described as having a “mind” no matter how intelligent it appears. The Chinese Room thought experiment begins with the supposition that a computer that behaves as if it understands Chinese exists. Searle hypothesizes that the computer is programmed so successfully that a human Chinese speaker is convinced that the machine is another human Chinese speaker. The computer easily passes the Turing test, and advocates of artificial intelligence would surmise that the computer understands Chinese. Searle then proposes that he is in a closed room with a book that contains an English version of the computer program because he does not speak Chinese. He receives Chinese characters and processes them manually following the program instructions. He, in essence, is performing the same task as the computer, yet it is obvious that he does not understand Chinese. Searle asserts that both he and the computer are simply following a step-by-step process which only simulates artificial intelligence. There is no intentionality in the process and therefore no actual thought or understanding is involved.

Question 2
Can virtual agents succeed in delivering high-quality customer service over the Web?

I think that when this technology is further advanced there will be a lot to gain in this field. At the moment i don't think that the automata technology is smart enough to answer indepth questions but when it is it would definantly save companys on staff costs. It would also keep their customers happy because they would not need to wait on hold to speak with someone.
answer. At the moment customers would become very impatient and frustrated if like the “cybertwins” the virtual agent delivers a totally irrelevant answer to a question. With technological development increasing exponentially, it is only a matter of time before businesses can deliver a high-quality, automated, customer service function over the Web.

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